Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Plexus Scam


We all have those Facebook friends who clog our feeds with hourly posts about the miracles of Plexus. The first couple of months I just ignored it until the harassment was simply more than I cared to endure. The final straw for me was after politely declining unsolicited messages and disclosing that I was in fact pregnant and therefor very much not interested, they simply would not stop. One morning I woke up to find myself tagged in a sales pitch on a friends page with more sales pitches waiting in my in-box.  I was even told "Plexus is natural and healthy for the baby". This is not an okay thing to say to a pregnant woman. One you are implying that I being pregnant am in need of weight loss. Two you are pushing a non FDA approved or tested product onto potentially pregnant woman which could cause real harm to developing fetuses. After deleting any and all friends who use their Facebook to try and line their pocket books, I decided to do some research.

Let's start by talking about what a multi-level marketing strategy is.



Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's "downline", and can provide multiple levels of compensation.[1] Other terms used for MLM include pyramid selling,[2][3][4][5][6]network marketing,[5][7][8] and referral marketing.[9] According to the US FTC, some MLM plans get their benefit from exploiting other members of the network, and they are illegal pyramid schemes.[10][11][12]
Most commonly, the salespeople are expected to sell products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing.[1] Some people use direct selling as a synonym for MLM, although MLM is only one type of direct selling, which started centuries ago withpeddling.[1][7][13]
Companies that use MLM models for compensation have been a frequent subject of criticism and lawsuits. Criticism has focused on their similarity to illegal pyramid schemescult-like behavior,price fixing of products, high initial entry costs (for marketing kit and first products), emphasis on recruitment of others over actual sales, encouraging if not requiring members to purchase and use the company's products, exploitation of personal relationships as both sales and recruiting targets, complex and exaggerated compensation schemes, the company and/or leading distributors making major money off training events and materials, and cult-like techniques which some groups use to enhance their members' enthusiasm and devotion.

Sounds a lot like what is going on with Plexus to me. I found this hilarious YouTube video in which a crazed ambassador addresses how an "ambassador" should address allegations that Plexus is in fact a MLM or a pyramid scheme. She actually says "when you talk about Plexus you need to talk about it like you are talking about your faith or your gender....because this is a fear based question and those people are just bullies" Wait ..... What ?!?!?! She never actually provides facts or data as to why Plexus is not a scam but I love her logic of " because uh duh". Oh man I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to! Please take the 1:49 to watch the best video ever below....

http://youtu.be/ghhtHRaq-b4

After months of unwanted bombardment, I have a few observations about the Plexus posts I have read. 

1. Whenever anyone comments asking what Plexus is the ambassador immediately offers to send them a private message. Why can't you just answer the question? Oh, that's right, because you are not so much trying to sell a product as you are trying to get people to dump cash into your personal business. 

2. The testimonial pictures are never of my actual friends, but of complete strangers. Who are these people and why do I care? That's right, I don't. So stop posting them. 

Here is a true testimonial - my testimonial.  Over the course of a year, without spending a penny on diet plans or magic pills I lost 100 lbs. Here is my proof simply eating healthy and exercising works. The only thing I am selling you is the truth. 

Before....


After......

And, other than the healthy baby growing in my belly, I have kept it off !!! 

3. I honestly think they think this crap cures cancer. If Plexus was such a miracle it would be the headline of every newspaper, the top story of every news cast, and not the annoying hourly post of a friend trying to make some extra money. 

Now let's talk about the product itself. What is Plexus?

Pros and Cons of Plexus Slim

If you’re trying to make a decision as to whether or not this product can help you to achieve the weight loss results you’re looking for, it’s important to consider the facts when it comes to the pros and the cons of this product.
The Pros
Some of the ingredients may be beneficial for weight loss, including:

Chlorogenic Acid

  • This is a substance derived from green coffee beans.
  • A 2010 study did find that it helped with weight loss and increased fat burning in rats that were fed a high fat diet. A very small study involving 16 overweight people was also conducted in 2012, and found that participants saw significant reductions in body weight, body mass and percent body fat compared to those taking a placebo.
  • Chlorogenic acid may also have a laxative effect.

Chromium

  • Chromium is an important nutrient known to help regulate blood sugar levels which may also reduce cravings for simple carbs.
  • It’s known as an “essential trace element” because only a very small amount is necessary for health.
  • Some studies have shown that it may have a small amount effect on weight loss, but many others have found it has no effect.

Garcina Cambogia Extract

  • This fruit native to Indonesia may be effective in making meals more filling so that one eats less.
  • It’s also believed to help curb the appetite.
  • There have been some studies that have shown that it is effective for weight loss; however, these studies were conducted on mice. Human studies have found no real difference between people taking a placebo and those who took Garcina Cambogia.
  • While it’s safe for most people, it could interact with diabetes treatments and it may be a problem for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
A quick look at a FAQ on a distributor website states that “extensive clinical research has demonstrated no ill side effects with any medications or other supplements,” which reiterates the issue discussed above in regard to false claims by unqualified “ambassadors.”

Alpha Lipoic Acid

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant known to help prevent cell damage in the body.
  • It is also used to help break down carbohydrates and increase energy levels.
  • One study found that it may increase the metabolic rate which can boost weight loss; however, this study also involved mice and not humans.
  • While it isn’t known to be harmful, it may interfere with diabetes treatment.
The Cons
UPDATED: One major concern with Plexus is that the Plexus Accelerator product was banned in Australia with the Australian Department of Healthwarning consumers that it posed a serious health risk due to the ingredient DMAA.
The substance has been linked to high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, bleeding in the brain and stroke.
Despite clams by company ambassadors that the products are totally safe, without side effects and have no interactions with medications, the company has issued a warning on its website related to the Accelerator product, which can beviewed here.

Other issues include:

The use of two natural sweeteners: stevia and luo han guo.

  • Although stevia is added to many low-calorie foods and beverages and is not necessarily harmful in itself, there has been some research that shows it may actually hinder weight loss because the brain doesn’t receive a signal that the stomach is full.
  • The sweet flavor can actually trick the body into thinking it’s going to be receiving calories – and when it doesn’t, metabolism is lowered.
  • Keep in mind, that there are lots of low and no-cal products on the shelves and Americans are certainly no slimmer than they were back in the ‘70s or ‘80s. In fact, obesity is more rampant than ever.

Higenamine.

  • This plant-derived chemical is an ingredient in the Accelerator product. It works like a stimulant, causing tissues to contract. It speeds the heart rate and increases heart contractions. This is likely at least part of the reason for the warning.

Was there ever any “extensive clinical research?”

  • Although Plexus has made claims of extensive clinical research on its products, it doesn’t ever seem to have been tested in published studies to see if it interacts with certain health conditions or medications.
  • The only specific study on Plexus Slim is a summary of one shown on the company website. This 2008 study was not published or peer reviewed.
  • It did reveal that eight people with type 2 diabetes who were given the product saw some improvement in blood sugar and body weight, but there is no information as to how it was conducted, which means it can’t be duplicated by other scientists – or used to seriously backup the claims.
Then there is the cost. I have read Plexus can cost a person in the ball park of $100 month. I would personally prefer to just eat healthy and exercise, maybe take some inexpensive but quality vitamins for general health that are supported by doctors. Then I'd save that money for a new wardrobe! 

Losing weight should not cost you money. Weight loss should not be an industry. Instead I believe we need to educate people on making healthy lifestyle choices. It might be cliche but it works. Yes, it is hard and requires personal sacrifice, but the reality is you don't need a $100 month powder you drink once a day. You need will power and hope. Have faith in yourself that you are capable of more than you told yourself in the past, find your personal motivation and change your life. Products such as Plexus will come and go but the basics of health and weight loss will remain unchanged. Those who change their lifestyles will still be standing long after Plexus is just another forgotten and discarded fad.






44 comments:

  1. Thank you! You confirmed all my feelings about it.

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  2. First I will be up front with you and tell you that I AM sharing Plexus, but ONLY because it has helped me. I took it to my doctor after my regular check up and he said my counts and weight is where it was 5 yrs. ago. It does not have luo han guo in it. And the product you are talking about being banned in other countries was changed a few years ago. You said you have read how much it cost...so you haven't honestly looked into it? I will truthfully tell you that the pictures I post are real people and people that I know. I am putting my web site I built in memory of my mom to help educate...please ask me any ? so much neg. about things really is something I would like to help with. http://www.mabels-joy-plexus-weightloss.com/

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    1. You've been sucked into the cult mentality of defending Plexus (or any MLM) at all costs when there is NO quick way to lose weight. Any dietitian, nutritionist or doctor would tell you "diet and exercise"

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    2. LOL "but ONLY because it has helped me". That is how they all start. You are SO very uneducated. (And no, reading Plexus materials and links is NOT educating yourself). I realize that I sound mean. But you are a danger to others.

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    3. I am not a danger to others if I tell them to always take it to their doctor and make an educated decision. And it has helped me...all I can say is that...blessings

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    4. How much do they pay you to comment on blogs and first page Google links about plexus. You comment reads like a Plexus handbook. Come on

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    5. From what I read about their compensation plan, no one gets paid to comment, blog about or post about it on the web.

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    6. I found a paleo diet works better than my year trying plexus. No weight loss on it. But paleo down 10 pounds in 6 weeks. Plexus cost too much.

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    7. Wow! I am also a Plexus Ambassador and I can share REAL testimonies and pics of people I actually know and of myself concerning some products but not all of them b/c I haven't tried all of them yet but I have tried the majority of them and it's NOT a pyramid scheme or a SCAM b/c there are actual products that DO work and they have recently finished a clinical studies on the Triplex Combo which is the most popular combo. Please do MORE research b/c IF you looked at more of an average posts and what not about Plexus it is portrayed or should be portrayed as all natural products that are tools to help you make more healthy decisions and they address gut health. Their probiotic is the BEST on the market!

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    8. My girlfriend sells this stuff. She was trying to get me to do it! I stopped being friends with her whenever she told mentioned how much weight I've gained since she's last aw me! She's been selling it for approximately a year, end hasn't mentioned any money she's earned...From what I can see, she's doing nothing more than pushing her friends away! So after basically being told I was fat by my friend, I decided to send her a message, and that was all the information out there that confirms it's not healthy and it doesn't work! I hope she got my message!

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  4. have you tried Plexus? I am sure you have not! It sounds like you have tried a MLM and it did not work out for you. There is no quick way to weight loss, this is not all about losing weight...it's about health.

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    1. Again, you have NO idea what you are selling. It is under-powered, over-priced, mostly ill-formulated, and to SOME people, it can be a danger. Almost everyone (including you) can do better elsewhere.

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  5. My daughter has been sucked into this cult. Preying on desperate women whose intentions are to be able to stay home with their children. Answer the simple questions of if it is so great, why ISN'T in or on every single shelf in eveRyan single store or on every news channel or on every doctor's go to list? It is heartbreaking to watch good ole common sense be thrown out the window.

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  6. My daughter has been sucked into this cult. Preying on desperate women whose intentions are to be able to stay home with their children. Answer the simple questions of if it is so great, why ISN'T in or on every single shelf in eveRyan single store or on every news channel or on every doctor's go to list? It is heartbreaking to watch good ole common sense be thrown out the window.

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  7. It is a private owned business, they don't need to sell it in stores. I am so sorry your daughter struggled with the business. I know it can be so frustrating...

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    1. Even though I don't believe it's a cult I am about 99.9999 percent sure it's pyramid.

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  8. Pyramid schemes claim to be in the business of selling products to consumers in order to look like a multi-level marketing company. However, little or no effort is made to actually market the product. Enough said...we do share the products...that is what I do and how we build the business...I am not required to recruit anyone and no inventory...we are in the business of health

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  11. I am a Plexus ambassador because I did lose 60 lbs on this product! I went from a size 20 to a size 8! I only started selling it after I did lose significant weight! The comment that Australia banned it simply is not true! We have ambassadors there!

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    1. Just Google "Plexus banned in Australia" and you will have the answer that you are in denial about.

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    2. Guess what I lost 60 pounds with clean eating and exercise all it cost me was some sweat and fresh fruits and veggies a few times a week not 100 bucks a month

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  12. I have a friend who is a Plexus Pusher. Like the dealer on the corner she continually hawks this crap on Facebook. Thank goodness you can turn off notifications. She's been selling it for a year as a miracle weight loss product, especially that pink drink junk. She was a size 20 when she started a year ago, and she is a size 20 today. All she's lost is her money and her dignity.

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    1. I am an Ambassador & don't like how some people sale it as a miracle weight loss product b/c it can help you BUT you also have to do other things that are more healthy along with taking the products.....now some people didn't have to do as much but EVERYONE'S body & experience will be different.

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  13. This is ideal to use in a post-shaving environment, so either after a testing day in the work office or a hard workout in the gym. this

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  15. I would like to comment about the Accelerator...I believe there was a problem but they changed the formula before I started which was last year. I am not trying to argue about Plexus...just do your home work...we all need to exercise and eat right...it is not about losing weight

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  17. Well well well....Plexus Slim Health has someone hit a nerve? You're spending an awful lot of time defending a product you swear speaks for itself. Why not just stick to letting your product work its own magic? Take your own experience and keep it to yourself sweetheart--this isn't your website! This person had a different experience than you have and she has EVERY right to express it here without your input.

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  18. I was sucked into this.. Getting healthy from the inside out.. I never lost weight.. my husband and I were on it for 8 months.. nothing and we had the full line.. of products.. P96.. MEgaX bio cleanse,, probio5.. Xfactor.. my son was on the chewables.. and then addeed edge.. which is a JOKE.. I had over 30 customers 9 ambassadors.. not 1 NOT 1.. of them liked it or had any success... so at the end I was left with 1 left.. my sister which still hung in there because of me.. then to see 3 levels above me getting her 2nd.. yes 2nd LEXUS.. and everyone above me going to Hawaii...and can take someone.. all expenses paid.. this company is a JOKE.. I quit as of today.. the money I spent each month.. is ridiculous..

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  19. I was sucked into this.. Getting healthy from the inside out.. I never lost weight.. my husband and I were on it for 8 months.. nothing and we had the full line.. of products.. P96.. MEgaX bio cleanse,, probio5.. Xfactor.. my son was on the chewables.. and then addeed edge.. which is a JOKE.. I had over 30 customers 9 ambassadors.. not 1 NOT 1.. of them liked it or had any success... so at the end I was left with 1 left.. my sister which still hung in there because of me.. then to see 3 levels above me getting her 2nd.. yes 2nd LEXUS.. and everyone above me going to Hawaii...and can take someone.. all expenses paid.. this company is a JOKE.. I quit as of today.. the money I spent each month.. is ridiculous..

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  20. The ignorance of plexus sellers is just hilarious...get a real stay at home job if u wanna be a stay at home mom or maybe quit wasting your money on a joke and use that money to take some online classes and get a degree...you are an embarrassment to the integrity of all hard working humans on this planet...you are literally a step below drug dealing...at least drug dealers know what they are selling idiots

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  21. You all are literally ridiculous. It's called, to each their own. NO vitamins or supplements are FDA approved, therefore even the products you buy off the shelves of your local stores are, in essence, a "scam" because you as the consumer don't truly know if they work for their intended purpose unless you read the labels and know what those ingredients will achieve. When you stroll into Target and grab a bottle of vitamins, you are blindly trusting that Target has done their research and are offering you the best quality products. That's crazy. They are selling what their buddy companies present to them, most of the time stuffed with filler ingredients, artificial colors, and high fructose corn syrup so they can sell them cheaper and then pump ads all over mainstream media to make you think you need them- ie Flintstones vitamins. If you look at the bloggers pros/cons, you and I can agree that based off of the details of the pros, the ingredients would equate to weight loss. Now, whether or not you choose to spend your money on the "pink drink", a probiotic, vitamin, etc. from Plexus, that is up to you. However, making the claim that Plexus Ambassadors "don't know what they're selling" sounds as dumb as telling an Avon lady not to hustle her mascara and nail polish. It's a business. Plain and simple. If only people questioned those little Girl Scouts selling those cookies the same way people are trying to talk about Plexus..... Little girl, do you even know what's in those cookies??????? ....crack. There must be crack in those peanut butter patties because Lord knows no one can stop eating them. Hopefully you laughed. But seriously, Plexus is a business and has quality products. Research the ingredients and if you decide it's not for you, cool. But it doesn't mean the products aren't legit.

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  22. Well Well Well. For all you Plexus pushers...Here is some indisputable evidence. Plexus is being SUED in California Superior Court because their products contain dangerous amounts of LEAD. LEAD that causes birth defects, liver failure and brain damage. Want to argue? Don't bother. Just read the summons for yourself.... http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/prop65/complaints/2015-00285C4059.pdf

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  24. My daughter took Plexus Slim along with the other plexus products while pregnant. Needless to say there were complications and she lost the baby. I discovered afterward that she had been taking these products. After educating myself on the dangers of these products I tried to talk with her but she is adamant that they are safe because the other Ambassadors tell her they are. I am so worried because she continues to take them and is trying to get pregnant again.

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  25. I think the unfavorable information about the products is well documented. What few people know about is the cult-like atmosphere of the company itself, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. I can tell you from personal experience, this is the most bizarre company I've ever seen, much less worked for. Bizarre! First of all, Plexus bleeds money. Tens of millions of dollars are routinely wasted due to well-known and long-ignored computerized shipping/distribution problems. Yet nobody seems to care! Why? Because they know the hundreds of millions of dollars they're making per year will keep rolling in. But the cult-like atmosphere involves other weird behaviors that I'm honestly a little hesitant to post about. Like the company taking an oddly-aggressive interest in what it's employees do outside of the office. Specifically, who employees associate with socially - even romantically. I'm reminded of the methods the Church of Scientology uses to keep non-members from "corrupting" members. I can personally attest to Plexus employees being warned to stay away from non-employees, or face consequences! These are free adults being told that associating with friends, family and/or significant others might cause "trouble" or "problems for them" at work. Truly frightening!

    The inner workings of Plexus Corporate Headquarters, with their overly-hyped weekly pep rallies, are as fascinating as they are disturbing. No one knows (or seems to care) what anyone's actual job is within the company - probably because profits are obscenely large. There is no commitment to customer service or any traditional business ethics. But they are hyper-focussed on what people do outside the office. Very creepy.

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    1. Wow!I really wish you would say who you are! I'm very curious about your statements unknown, as I share Plexus and have my own health journey. Deb Cross

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    2. Ummmm.....Unknown....This won't make any sense unless you said who you were b/c it just sounds like you have some sour feelings towards the company or a person that works for the company. Plexus is a GREAT company to be apart of & they are constantly growing and doing more for the customers and Ambassadors so they can be the best representation they can be for the company. I have seen videos from their conventions and personally know the women that have been attending them for over 2 years and there isn't anything weird going on. They even let one Ambassador film while she was in the customer service department so that doesn't seem like they are hiding a lot.

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  26. Someone gifted me a 90 day supply of plexus slim along with several of the supplements. I've been skeptical of the outlandish claims but tried it since it was free. After a month all I had was a chronic sore throat that went away when I stopped taking it. Nothing else changed at all. What has changed my health is working out and eating healthy. Imagine that.

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